Finding the URL of your XML sitemap can be faster, simpler and easier if you follow these steps.
Here are 3 methods to help you get and see the sitemap of a website so you can locate yours, or a competitors, sitemap.xml file.
.xml sitemaps are an important part of technical SEO and can help search engines with URL discovery, crawl efficiency and to understand the structure of your website.
Load your robots.txt file in your browser
Load the page;
replace yourdomain.com with your domain and extension with your domain extension.
You should see the robots.txt file for your website, which should look something like the example below.
This should help you find all versions of your sitemap for all the subfolders and pages of your website.
You may have separate sitemap files for;
https://yourdomain.com/page-sitemap.xml https://yourdomain.com/blog-sitemap.xml https://yourdomain.com/author-sitemap.xml
Your sitemap.xml file should be included in your robots.txt file. If it’s not there, then once you’ve found out what URL your sitemap.xml file exists on, you should add it to your robots.txt file.
If your robots.txt file does not contain a link to your sitemap.xml file, then you should add a link to your sitemap.xml file to the robots.txt file.
Load the page yourdomain/sitemap.xml in your browser
If you can’t see your sitemap.xml file in your robots.txt file, you can simply guess your sitemap.xml URL.
Load the page;
Replace yourdomain with your domain and .com with the extension relevant to your site.
You may find your sitemap.xml file live at the URL you’ve tested or you may automatically be redirected to the URL where your sitemap.xml file is live. For example, you may resolve on;
You can also create separate sitemaps for sections of your website, for example;
Can include any URLs within the /catalogue/ subfolder, but would not support any URLs that are within the /information/ subfolder.
How to find your sitemap URL on WordPress
Your website admin should be able to help you locate your sitemap.xml file.
Admin systems like WordPress have different methods of finding the sitemap.xml file URL for your website and the location of the information may depend on the plugin that you are using the generate the sitemap file for your website.
If you have Yoast installed, hover over Yoast and select “general”, select the “features” then scroll down to the XML sitemaps option and toggle it too on.
Yoast usually publishes a sitemap index file on;
Another common sitemap tool for WordPress is jetpack. Check if your site is using Jetpack to generate an XML sitemap.
Click on Jetpack from the WordPress menu, click settings in the top right corner, click “traffic” and scroll down the page to the “sitemaps” subheading.
If you’re not using any other plugins for sitemaps, you can toggle the “generate XML sitemaps” option to “on” to have Jetpack generate a list of website URLs for search engines to consume.
Jetpack normally generates a sitemap index file on:
The SEO Framework
The SEO Framework plugin can handle your sitemap.xml file for you. To configure your sitemap through The SEO Framework, click on SEO in the lefthand menu in your WordPress admin, scroll down on the page until you reach the “sitemap settings” header.
Click, “output optimized sitemap?” to toggle it to yes.
The SEO framework tends to output sitemap.xml files on:
There’s also a link from the plugin to the base sitemap URL so you can see specifically where it exists.
How to find your sitemap URL on Shopify
Shopify websites usually have their sitemap.xml index file located on:
And usually have sitemap.xml files for:
https://yourdomain.co.uk/sitemap_products_1.xml - for product pages https://yourdomain.co.uk/sitemap_pages_1.xml - for website pages https://yourdomain.co.uk/sitemap_collections_1.xml - for collections pages https://youdomain.co.uk/sitemap_blogs_1.xml - for blog pages
Now that you’ve found your Shopify sitemap URLs, you can check each sitemap file to ensure that only indexable pages are included there.
How to find your Sitemap URL on a custom website CMS
If you’re using a custom CMS (content management system) or a different platform, we’d recommend checking with developers in your technical team or your technical agency.
Using the above methods is also recommended for helping to identify where on your website your sitemap.xml file exists.
A working sitemap.xml is critical to the SEO performance of your website and management of URLs in your sitemap.xml file via your CMS is a highly desirable SEO feature that some CMS offer.
What do Search Engines use Sitemap files for?
Search engines like Google, Bing, Yandex and Yep use sitemap.xml files to quickly locate important and valuable URLs on your website.
By listing your live, indexable pages in your sitemap.xml file, you can help ensure they’re indexed, changes are picked up quickly after having been implemented and search engine bots are crawling your website efficiently.
Because sitemap.xml files are only for important and valuable pages on your website, you should remove any URLs that cannot be indexed in search engines. This includes;
- 3XX redirect URLs
- 4XX not found URLs
- URLs with meta robots “noindex”
- URLs with the X-robots “noindex” tag
- URLs blocked in your robots.txt file
- User account pages and pages behind logins
Now that you’ve found your sitemap.xml file, why not ping your sitemap to Google to inform them of changes to your website.
Once you have found your sitemap.xml file, you should also add your sitemap to Google search console, so search engine crawlers can locate it again when they are re-crawling your website.
Here is how to set up google search console on your website if you haven’t already.